Anniversary of Sgt. Pepper's Iconic Cover Photo Session

03/30/2011
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(Gibson) On this day in 1967, The historic photo session for The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band sleeve took place on a set designed by British pop artist Peter Blake and his wife Jann Haworth and was photographed by Michael Cooper at Chelsea Manor Studios, London. Gibson takes a look back: Originally, it was going to be a bunch of swirly blobs of varying shades of red. Instead, it became a psychedelic statement, an attention-grabbing wonder and the most iconic album cover in music history.

In the winter of 1967, The Beatles were hard at work in the studio, crafting the dense layers of sound that would eventually become the songs on Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. They commissioned their pals in the Dutch design collective The Fool to paint the album's cover. Although The Fool would become well-known for other Beatles-related creations (including the psychedelic paintjob given to John Lennon's Gibson J-160E, decorations bestowed on George Harrison's Mini car and the huge mural on the band's Apple Boutique), their cover for Sgt. Pepper didn't pan out.

Robert Fraser, an art dealer and gallery owner, had become good friends with Paul McCartney because both were fixtures on the hip London art scene. After seeing The Fool's Sgt. Pepper cover, Fraser was convinced that it wasn't good enough for The Beatles. This would have to be an image that would rank with Revolver, Rubber Soul and With The Beatles and Fraser felt The Fool's painting was poorly done and that it would be dated before it was released. Not only did he win McCartney and the boys over, he convinced them that he should be the art director for the new cover. more on this story

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